The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Rich pickings for Pandora as Rdio becomes the latest music subscription service tragedy
US online radio service Pandora has acquired $75m in technology assets from the now bankrupt music subscription service Rdio. The deal is part of an expansion of services by Pandora which are set to roll out in both the US and internationally towards the end of next year. Rdio was available in 85 countries and the closure of the service brings an end to its five-year battle to keep pace with the sector’s leaders, Spotify and Deezer. With news of Rdio debts exceeding $200m, including monies owed to both large and small record companies and music publishers, the demise of the service highlights both the financial difficulties faced by the smaller companies and the likelihood that the future of music subscriptions will be controlled by a small number of well-funded services.
Digital growth for Japan as subscription sales keep on rising
New figures published by the Japanese recorded-music trade association, the RIAJ, show that digital music sales grew in the first nine months of this year at a faster rate than in the same period of 2014. The RIAJ reported strong subscription sales and growth in album downloads. Single tracks are falling out of favor with Japanese consumers and might follow ring tones and ring-back tones into terminal decline. Digital sales are now showing real signs of resilience after some big annual falls. Coupled with steady sales of physical formats, this suggests that Japan is heading for its first year of sales growth in recorded music since 2012.
Music crowdfunding needs a dose of innovation to make its mark
Fan finance has been around long enough through the likes of PledgeMusic and Kickstarter to have established itself as a proven means of raising communal funds to enable artists to head to the studio or promote their new albums independently. However, crowdfunding has fallen short of early expectations of becoming a major music funding channel and continues to operate largely at the margins of entertainment finance. The sector, the domain of tech start-ups, has pretty much developed around a single target-driven model and needs an injection of innovation to really make its mark.
Austria country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Austria music industry profile. Austria is one of Europe’s smaller music markets. Although well-developed, with a relatively high per-capita spending rate on music, the country is one of Western Europe’s laggards when it comes to the transition from physical formats to digital. Like its larger neighbor Germany, whose music buyers remain firmly attached to the CD album, physical formats dominate spending on recorded music in Austria. There are, however, signs that music subscription services are gaining increased traction with consumers. Authors’ rights collections in the country continue to rise and royalty payments to producers and performers remain steady. Austria’s live music sector is performing well. Skalar Entertainment is the country’s leading promoter.
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